Out of Time's Abyss

By Edgar Rice Burroughs

Page 32

you are not of this frightful
city, for I have been here for almost ten moons, and never have I seen
a male Galu brought hither before, nor are there such as you and I,
other than prisoners in the land of Oo-oh, and these are all females.
Are you a prisoner, then?"

He told her briefly who and what he was, though he doubted if she
understood, and from her he learned that she had been a prisoner there
for many months; but for what purpose he did not then learn, as in the
midst of their conversation the yellow door swung open and a Wieroo
with a robe slashed with yellow entered.

At sight of Bradley the creature became furious. "Whence came this
reptile?" it demanded of the girl. "How long has it been here with
you?"

"It came through the doorway just ahead of you," Bradley answered for
the girl.

The Wieroo looked relieved. "It is well for the girl that this is so,"
it said, "for now only you will have to die." And stepping to the door
the creature raised its voice in one of those uncanny, depressing wails.

The Englishman looked toward the girl. "Shall I kill it?" he asked,
half drawing his pistol. "What is best to do?--I do not wish to
endanger you."

The Wieroo backed toward the door. "Defiler!" it screamed. "You dare
to threaten one of the sacred chosen of Luata!"

"Do not kill him," cried the girl, "for then there could be no hope for
you. That you are here, alive, shows that they may not intend to kill
you at all, and so there is a chance for you if you do not anger them;
but touch him in violence and your bleached skull will top the loftiest
pedestal of Oo-oh."

"And what of you?" asked Bradley.

"I am already doomed," replied the girl; "I am cos-ata-lo."

"Cos-ata-lo! cos-ata-lu!" What did these phrases mean that they were
so oft repeated by the denizens of Oo-oh? Lu and lo, Bradley knew to
mean man and woman; ata; was employed variously to indicate life, eggs,
young, reproduction and kindred subjects; cos was a negative; but in
combination they were meaningless to the European.

"Do you mean they will kill you?" asked Bradley.

"I but wish that they would," replied the girl. "My fate is to be
worse than death--in just a few nights more, with the coming of the new
moon."

"Poor she-snake!" snapped the Wieroo. "You are to become sacred above
all other shes. He Who

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